The Garden of the Finzi-Continis


1h 35m 1987

Brief Synopsis

In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading families, wealthy, aristocratic, urbane; they are also Jewish. Their adult children, Micol and Alberto, gather a circle of friends for constant rounds of tennis and parties at their villa with its lovely grounds, keeping the rest of the world at bay. Into the circle steps Giorgio, a Jew from the middle class who falls in love with Micol. She seems to toy with him, and even makes love to one of his friends while she knows Giorgio is watching. While his love cannot seem to break through to her to draw her out of her garden idyll, the forces of politics close in.

Film Details

Also Known As
Den förbjudna trädgården, Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Il Giardino del Finzi-Continis
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1987
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Classics
Location
Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

The story of an aristocratic Jewish family in Ferrara, Italy, in the years 1938-1943, and a way of life now lost forever. The enormous gardens of the Finzi-Contini estate surround the family both literally and metaphorically, and seemingly insulate them from the virulent spread of anti-Semitism in Mussolini's Fascist regime. As Jews are progressively banned from schools, libraries and public places, the Finzi-Continis open their gates to the friends of their children, Micol and Alberto. Giorgio, a frequent visitor, is a middle-class Jewish student who has been hopelessly in love with Micol since childhood. But Micol rejects him and in casual defiance of the "racial laws," begins a physical relationship with Malnate, a brash young Communist, and the only non-Jew in her circle. The group of friends spend languid afternoons playing tennis and romantic games, but beyond the walls of the estate, the Fascists hold menacing parades, and begin rounding up Jews for deportation.

Film Details

Also Known As
Den förbjudna trädgården, Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Il Giardino del Finzi-Continis
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1987
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Classics
Location
Italy

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Award Wins

Best Foreign Language Film

1971

Award Nominations

Best Writing, Screenplay

1972

Quotes

In life, in order to understand, to really understand the world, you must die at least once. So it's better to die young, when there's still time left to recover and live again.
- Giorgio's Father
You and I are not normal people. For the two of us, what counts more than the possession of things - how shall I put it - is the remembrance of things, the memory of things.
- Micol
Children are always prisoners of grownups.
- Micol Finzi-Contini

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States August 24, 1990

Released in United States March 1987

Released in United States on Video March 1988

Re-released in United States November 13, 1996

Re-released in United States November 8, 1996

Re-released in United States on Video September 16, 1997

Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 24, 1990.

Formerly distributed by Karl/Lorimar Home Video (video-USA).

Project was formerly ditributed in the USA by Almi Cinema 5.

Released in United States March 1987 (Shown at AFI/Los Angeles International Film Festival (Arthur Cohn Tribute) March 11-26, 1987.)

Released in United States on Video March 1988

Released in United States August 24, 1990 (Shown at Lincoln Center, New York City in the series "A Roman Holiday" August 24, 1990.)

Re-released in United States on Video September 16, 1997 (restored version)

Re-released in United States November 8, 1996 (New York City)

Re-released in United States November 13, 1996 (Los Angeles)